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Migrating epidermis produces AB2 collagen and requires continual collagen synthesis for movement

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Abstract

EPITHELIAL CELLS demonstrate remarkable motility during the in vivo processes of wound healing, organogenesis and neoplastic invasion1. We have been interested in the control of epithelial motility. From earlier studies we know that in vitro epithelial movement requires the continual presence of a serum component2,3 and a proper substratum4. In culturing dissociated epithelial cells, collagen-coated dishes have been found to provide a better substratum than non-coated surfaces5. As studies in other laboratories had suggested that epithelium produces collagen6–8, it seemed appropriate to investigate the role of collagen in epithelial movement. Reported here are morphological and metabolic studies of a well defined tissue culture system of skin explants involving both epithelial outgrowth and epiboly. The observations support the possibility that the continual synthesis of collagen is necessary for epithelial cell movement.

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